New City captain Ilkay Gundogan has revealed how he sought advice and input from his predecessor Fernandinho after taking over.
The Germany international was selected by his Etihad colleagues to succeed Fernandinho as club captain earlier this season following the Brazilian’s departure in the summer.
The 31-year-old has amassed a huge amount of experience in his six years at the club to date and his rise to the prestigious role speaks volumes about the respect with which he is held by his Etihad peers.
In preparation for the role, Gundogan revealed how he reached out to his predecessor for advice and guidance before taking the reins.
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And he revealed how he seeks to lead by example rather than words.
“I was lucky to have Fernandinho and even this season I contacted him and asked him for advice on certain things,” the midfielder revealed in the pre-match press conference from Tuesday ahead of our Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund.
“So he’s already helped me, even though he’s not here.
“Personally, I don’t try to change too many things. I try to lead by example.
“I may not be the loudest in the dressing room, but I try to lead with my actions.
“We have a lot of characters – some loud, some quiet – everyone’s different. So there’s a natural process throughout the season.
It’s been a bit of a summer of change at the club with Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleks Zinchenko all moving on and several new players arriving.
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But when asked whether the character of City’s dressing room had changed as a result, Gundogan said it was a case of evolution rather than revolution.
“The atmosphere is quite similar to be honest,” Gundogan added.
“We lost some good players and some really good guys who were important for the positivity and the atmosphere in the dressing room.
“But with others coming in and others stepping up, they’re contributing to the atmosphere.
“It’s something that every team in the world has to deal with. My personal role may change a bit, but it’s more about what’s going on around us, like the organisation.
City have come awfully close in recent seasons to securing Champions League glory.
We narrowly lost the 2021 final to Chelsea and suffered a heartbreaking semi-final loss to Real Madrid last season.
Asked what lessons the team had digested from our recent European campaigns, Gundogan was unequivocal in his response.
“The most important thing is the margin and the little details that decide the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals,” added the skipper.
“The margin is so tight. Obviously, the last few years the way we were eliminated was a bit tragic in the way it happened, but I don’t think we should regret anything.
“It’s always an experience for us. As a competitor, you try to be there again and do better. That’s all you can do.
“The objective is the same, we try to reach our maximum and see what will happen.”
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